Over the past two weeks, I have taken all three of my college ESL classes to orientations in computer labs. We have gone for a variety of reasons:
- to register for our class learning management system and get familiar with activities on the site.
- to create accounts and register for different technology tools.
- to demonstrate how to complete activities on a few different websites
These are some challenges we had while in the computer labs:
- extremely s - l - o - w internet connections
- no headphones available and not all students had brought headphones
- two microphones available for a class with 27 students
- noise and student background noise while recording
The good news is that each and every student in all of my classes is now successfully registered for our learning management system (which happens to be Moodle), and successfully created accounts and completed activities for a few different technology tools. What caught my attention, however, was that midway through each orientation, students started asking about whether there was an app for the tools we were using. There is, but I thought it would be easier to go to the lab first, get everyone registered, and then tell them they can download the app later. Turns out, with the confusion over the headphones and the slow internet speed, the apps were better and faster. Within minutes, students who had iPads had whipped them out and the rest were on their cell phones downloading the free app. They completed their recordings easily and finished happily. The only downside is that our leaning management system is not an updated version available as an app. Beyond that, though, for the other technology tools, I don't think most of them will go back to a computer to access these tools for the remainder of the semester.
Lesson Learned: I might not need to take students to the computer lab anymore. It seems to be a lot easier to just get the app.
P.S. - the apps (all free) in the picture are listed below: